Mel B awarded honorary doctorate - and reveals she secretly completed 'intense' university course

Spice Girl Melanie Brown is set to receive an honorary doctorate for her campaigning efforts - as she revealed she has completed an "intense" trauma care course.

The singer, also known as Mel B and Scary Spice, will be given the award from Leeds Beckett University in recognition of her work advocating for domestic abuse victims.

The 49-year-old said she was "so honoured" and "proud" that she completed the course and is being awarded a doctorate.

In an Instagram post, she said she found the course "intense" and "really tough" as it involved her reliving some of her past traumas.

She also said she did it to "be able to do more" with survivors of domestic violence that she interacts with as part of her work with Women's Aid.

"I want to help many, many more women along with Women's Aid so we can support survivors and end domestic abuse together," she said.

Brown has been an advocate for domestic abuse victims since she made claims in her 2018 memoir Brutally Honest that she had suffered abuse from her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte. He has denied the allegations.

In a separate statement, Brown said: "I didn't just want to accept an award.

"I wanted to be accepted as a student at Leeds Beckett."

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She added: "Not only have I been awarded this degree, but I was also accepted as a student on the Trauma Informed Care course which has been a huge step for me in so many ways.

"I am proud to feel part of this university in my hometown, proud to have come here as Melanie Brown, proud to have worked alongside other students and received excellent guidance from the teaching staff."

Professor Peter Slee, Leeds Beckett University vice-chancellor, said: "On behalf of all our students, colleagues and governors here at Leeds Beckett University, I would like to congratulate Melanie Brown MBE on this Honorary Degree.

"As a child of this city who reached the top of her industry and then used her platform to advocate for those who shared her hardships, Melanie is exactly the type of citizen we are here to champion."

Brown accepted an MBE in 2022 for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women and became a patron of Women's Aid, the national charity fighting to end domestic abuse against women and children, in 2018.

She will receive her honorary doctorate during Leeds Beckett's graduation week this month.